Serang Primary School
In a region where public schools are limited in number and generally poorly managed, education unfortunately, remains a privilege of the richer families in Nepal. Serang Primary School was established to provide basic education for underprivileged children, with an aim to empower them to be useful members of the society in the future.
“A child without education is like a bird without wings. Join us to provide underprivileged children with basic education so that they can pursue a dignified life.”
– Nuptul Tenpei Nyima Rinpoche
While travellers immersed in the heavenly atmosphere of the Himalayas marvel at the magnificent landscape, local residents lead a nomadic, frugal lifestyle based on subsistence farming and rearing livestock. Little formal education is required to sustain this traditional way of living. However, globalization is changing this area at a rapid pace.
In the modern world, how possible is it for one to survive without a basic education in literacy, math and science?
Increasingly, a basic education is of paramount importance. Yet, where public schools are limited in number and generally poorly managed, education unfortunately remains a privilege of the richer families in Nepal. In the region near Nuptul Tenpei Nyima Rinpoche’s hometown, 20 villages share only 3 humble schools. To fill the need for basic education and make it accessible to underprivileged children regardless of their gender, ethnicity, caste and religion, Serang Primary School (Shree Sirangee Gumba Primary School) has been established.
Creating Opportunities and Empowering Individuals Through Excellent Education
Mission and Goals
To make education accessible to underprivileged children in Nepal regardless of their gender, ethnicity, caste and religion
To nurture generations of wise, compassionate and environmentally conscious individuals who will better their families, communities and nation
School Support Fund
The School Support Fund is a charitable fund specially dedicated to supporting the development of Serang Primary School. This includes the school building construction and maintenance, regular utilities, as well as the basic food and accommodation for the school children. Currently, the expenditure consists of the following aspects.
The school is located within the compounds of Sangchen Rabten Norbuling. Since the ground breaking ceremony in June 2017, construction of the school building began and was finally completed in late 2019. On 24 Nov 2019, the inauguration of Serang Primary School Building was held under the auspices of Sangchen Rabten Norbuling.
The new school compound consists of two connecting blocks that are two storeys in height. The bigger block is equipped with five dormitories on the ground floor and four classrooms on the upper floor. The other block holds the kitchen and dining room at ground floor and staff rooms/office on the upper floor. The toilets and bathrooms are located at a separate area nearby. A room has also been reserved to build a library for the children so as to support their learning.
Children’s Food and Lodging
While the Nepalese government has extended its support to the school by providing a teacher, the children’s food and lodging remains a responsibility of Sangchen Rabten Norbuling. Given that Sangchen Rabten Norbuling is but a small community of monks and nuns, providing food and lodging for these children will in the long-term, cause a strain on the finances of the monastery.
With the concerted efforts from friends and students worldwide, Serang Primary School will be able to realize its vision and mission. The opportunity to receive education will make a lasting difference to these children’s lives and to an enduring economic autonomy of the Nubri valley.
Do consider donating to the Serang Primary School Support Fund, either as a recurring monthly donor or make a one-time donation. Your donation will be greatly appreciated and appropriate usage can be assured. Thank you for your support and consideration in joining us on the journey to better the lives of others.
A Heartfelt Testimony from Nuptul Tenpei Nyima Rinpoche
My Personal Story on Education
The Serang Primary School Project was inspired by my own special education experiences.
I was born in 1984 to a poor farmer’s family in a remote Himalayan village called Nubri in northern Nepal. My parents are kind and loving, but like many fellow villagers, they are illiterate. My early childhood was like every other child in our village: taking care of the cattle, running about and trying to create troubles to stir up the peaceful boredom. Following this traditional way of living, I would have by now, become the head of the household, inherited the responsibility of farming from my father, and found good marriages for my younger sisters at their teenage years.
However, at the age of 7, I was recognized as the reincarnation of a master known as Khedrup Tenpei Gyaltsen according to the Tulku system of Tibetan Buddhism, and was then brought to a monastery in India. Thereafter, I had the opportunity to learn reading and writing. Till the age of 24, I studied Buddhist philosophy and meditation. At the age of 28, I was selected to attend a three-year program in Hampshire College, Massachusetts, as an exchange scholar. I knew very little about the world outside of Nepal and India. With only a one-month crash course in English, I set foot into the modernized Western societies. Amidst numerous challenges in studies, language, culture and social interactions, my understanding of the world has deepened and been enriched.
As I spent more time travelling in America and Europe, I have developed a profound concern for the future of underprivileged children in Nepal. Ten years ago, it might still be possible to lead an isolated, agrarian life in the Himalayas. But ten years from now, even the remotest area will be penetrated by Internet and one’s livelihood will depend on the education or training that one has received. The idling school-age boys strolling in the mountains or the young teenage girls caring for their siblings in rural Nepal will face unthinkable challenge in the future.
A Wake-Up Call to Take Action
In 2015, I returned to the Gorkha region in Nepal and survived the devastating earthquake that took place in the month of April. To have directly seen the world shake and crumble in front of my very own eyes was a wake-up call for me to take action in this transient but precious life.
During the earthquake relief efforts undertaken by Sangchen Rabten Norbuling in November, I spoke to many disheartened villagers and frightened children in the region. At the sight of their damaged houses and the distress that filled their eyes, I announced that our monastery would offer temporary education and housing for some of the homeless or poor children from the nearby villages. Upon hearing this news, the faces of these villagers brightened up, as they saw strong hope in life with their children finally receiving education.
The school has received approval from the Nepalese government. It is estimated that we will receive 90 children by this year, with nearly 50 of them having arrived at our monastery. At present, they are sharing the facilities and food with the monastic Sangha.
Thank you very much for taking time to read through this. May your life be healthy, fulfilling and prosperous.